Blog Entry

Underdogs to Wonderdogs again

Posted on: May 25, 2009 11:33 am
A week or so ago Fresno State needed to win three of four against Sacramento State just to qualify for the WAC baseball tournament.

This was important because Fresno won the national championship last year. The "Wonderdogs" were unranked and unloved but swept through the Omaha bracket with the help of rightfielder Steve Detwiler and his mangled thumb. This was important also because those defending national champs were in last place having to beat Sacramento State.

According to the NCAA, Fresno was threatening to become the first defending national champ to not even quality for its conference tournament since Georgia in 1991. But the Dogs swept the Sac State series (how many of you even knew Sacramento State was a WAC baseball member?) to earn an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii for the WAC tournament over the weekend.

At the time it seemed like a nice parting gift for the defending national champions who were hovering around .500 at that point. Then they somehow made it to Sunday -- late Sunday, actually, Eastern Time.

The Wonderdogs won four consecutive elimination games, including two against New Mexico State on Sunday to grab the NCAA tournament automatic berth. This is why they call them Wonderdogs: sophomore Jordan Ribera hit back-to-back game-winning homers to put Fresno back in the bracket. (The NCAA tournament field was announced Monday afternoon ET).

Ribera had come into the tournament hitting .113 and was only playing because first baseman Alan Ahmady was suspended. Ribera's first home run broke a 7-7 tie in the top of the ninth against the Aggies. In the second game, Ribera broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth with a two-run shot.

When was the last time a .113 hitter was named tournament MVP?

Now it's on to the big tournament to see determine if the once last-place Freak Dogs can go back-to-back in national championships. 

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2009 8:51 am

Underdogs to Wonderdogs again

I'm assuming that UVA either did not bid on hosting or didn't put in a bid that was appealing to the NCAA.  Bids are generally submitted around early to mid April.  The casual College Baseball fan often doesn't know that the NCAA doesn't just award sites to qualifying schools.  The individual institutions must decide if they want the opportunity to host and put up some big bucks just to be considered.

Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: May 25, 2009 10:44 pm

Underdogs to Wonderdogs again

We all thought winning the national title last year was unbelievable.  I actually think the Bulldogs topped themselves this year just by making it this far.  They were down and out.  It's just amazing what will can do.

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: May 25, 2009 10:27 pm

Underdogs to Wonderdogs again

The defending National champion dogs are at it again.

They have to play out of the Irvine regional which is a very tuff group.We have learned never to count out the dogs and they seem to be playing well at the right time again.

This team has 15 freshmen on the roster and if not this year they will be back to the CWS next year for sure.

Go Dogs.

Since: May 25, 2009
Posted on: May 25, 2009 7:19 pm

Underdogs to Wonderdogs again

One more thing that one is to consider, UVA really got good right at the time of the ACC tournament started, losing 2 out of 3 to VT towards the end of the season might not do alot of good either. I think UVA is really good, but they got a tough draw in the regionals, they win that out there they can be trouble for almost anyone. They are playing great at the best time of the year, I know we took 2 of 3 from them earlier in the year and so did Miami, towards the end I doubt either team could do that.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: May 25, 2009 1:59 pm

Underdogs to Wonderdogs again

At the time the regional host stite were announced, Virginia wasn't the champs. They were in the title game, but hadn't won it yet. That might explain it a little, but still I was surprised by that too.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: May 25, 2009 1:40 pm

Underdogs to Wonderdogs again

I'm just kind of wondering how UVA wins the ACC tourney and doesn't get their own regional.

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